It’s often easy to find yourself overwhelmed each week as you look at the waiver wire, wondering which player — or players, mind you — you should be adding to your fantasy football roster and spending your precious FAAB money on. All I hope with this article is that I can help you step away from the crippling panic you may find yourself in (as someone who did not have a great week in the ol’ fantasy leagues, I am 100% in the crippling panic state), and offer some clarity as to who deserves your FAAB money and attention this week on waivers.
Here are my top five waiver prioritize, in order, along with what percentage of your FAAB I think you should be directing towards them (percent rostered in Yahoo leagues, under 75% rostered).
1. Mike Davis (7% rostered, 20% FAAB budget)
With Christian McCaffrey sidelined for two to six weeks, Davis becomes the waiver wire priority this week. In McCaffrey’s absence Sunday, Davis caught eight balls for 74 yards as the Panthers desperately tried to claw their way back into the game vs the Buccaneers. The Panthers will likely be doing a lot of clawing their way back into games this year and Davis’ versatility as both a runner and a pass catcher is a great sign for his fantasy stock. I’m expecting him to have RB2 value from Day 1 in this offense.
2. Joshua Kelley (40% rostered, 20% FAAB budget)
All the running backs on this list are filling in for one of the numerous injuries that occurred Sunday, except for Kelley. Austin Ekeler is still healthy in LA, but this offense seems to be able to comfortably house two fantasy viable backs. Through two games, Kelley has carried the ball 35 times for 124 yards and a touchdown with two catches for 49 yards. His clearly has a defined role in the Chargers offense and that role more than allows for him to produce flex worthy numbers. And if Ekeler were to miss time at any point, Kelley would instantly jump into high-end RB2 territory.
3. Darrell Henderson Jr. (33% rostered, 15% FAAB budget)
I went back and forth were to have Henderson on this list (if at all, honestly) because, while you shouldn’t ignore what he did in Week 2 against the Eagles, the Rams backfield feels like the truest form of the word “running back committee”. Malcolm Brown was everyone’s waiver darling last week after everyone drafted Cam Akers thinking he’d be the running back in LA. Akers is out with a rib injury which means there’s one less running back to worry about, but Brown did see 11 carries against the Eagles (he’s also dealing with a pinky injury). Henderson was the best back in Week 2 and he could have a lot of value moving forward, but his rest of season value worries me. That being said, buying a piece of him for the coming weeks is far from a bad idea.
4. Russell Gage (23% rostered. 15% FAAB budget)
Gage has seen at least nine targets and either scored a touchdown or gone over 100 yards receiving in each of the first two games this season. The Falcons passing game looks like it’s going to be the best in the NFL this year and I for one want to make sure I have a part of it on my fantasy roster. You’re not getting either of Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley for cheap and if Gage has another strong week in Week 3, he’s not going to come cheap either. Get him while you still can.
5. Jerick McKinnon (25% rostered, 10% FAAB budget)
McKinnon now stands as the only healthy offensive player in San Francisco. That’s kind of a joke but also kind of not. The 49ers were hit with a litany on injures Sunday, including both running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. Mostert has an MCL sprain that will likely keep him out for a couple of weeks, while Coleman is expected to miss multiple weeks with a knee injury. This leaves the door wide open for McKinnon to step in and be the primary running back in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.